Don’t be stupid!

The New York Appellate Division for the Third Judicial Department denied admission to an otherwise qualified applicant on character and fitness grounds

Applicant, a 48-year-old resident of Maryland, graduated from law school in 2008 and passed the Uniform Bar Examination in the District of Columbia in February 2018. He transferred his Uniform Bar Examination score to New York and the State Board of Law Examiners certified him for admission to this Court.

But

It is applicant’s burden to demonstrate that he possesses the character and general fitness requisite for admission (see Matter of Anonymous, 97 NY2d 332, 334 [2002]; Matter of Anonymous, 172 AD3d 1522, 1523 [2019]). The record before us demonstrates that, while in law school, applicant engaged in the unauthorized practice of law when he established a law firm, which firm was to include his father – a licensed Maryland attorney – and thereafter proceeded to forge his father’s signature on a cease and desist letter issued on the firm letterhead and further provided legal advice to an individual. His unauthorized practice of law in this regard is aggravated by the fact that, despite being made aware of this misconduct, he nevertheless continued to misrepresent the status of his licensure as an attorney in Maryland. Based on the foregoing, and his demonstrated lack of candor on his Maryland bar application, applicant was denied admission to the bar in that state.

Applicant has continued his troubling pattern of dishonesty and a lack of candor during the instant investigation by this Court’s Committee on Character and Fitness.m Significantly, we agree with the Committee’s conclusion that applicant knowingly made a false statement of material fact to this Court regarding the present location of his residence in order to gain a procedural benefit; namely, avoiding the temporary deferment of his application for admission while his reapplication for admission to the bar in Maryland, his home state, was pending. Such a deliberate misrepresentation, standing alone, is a sufficient basis to deny applicant’s petition. Accordingly, we conclude that applicant has failed to demonstrate that he presently possesses the character and general fitness requisite for an attorney and counselor-at-law and, therefore, his petition is denied (see Judiciary Law § 90 [1] [a]; Matter of Anonymous, 172 AD3d at 1523)

Congratulations!

On April 12, 2022 the Pro Bono Program celebrated with a luncheon. At this time we celebrated the graduation of our 3l’s, welcomed our new Board members and applauded the dedication of our award recipients

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S.H.A.D.E.

SHADE stands for Self Help Assistance Divorce for Everyone and is a small but effective project in Richland County that strives to make the self-help divorce process move smoothly through Family Court.  It has been determined that the Self-Help /Pro Se Divorce Packet available through the Court is overwhelming for many. Thus they arrive at their hearing with the wrong forms completed, no service on the defendant and a myriad of other issues. This results in a frustrated client, a loss of court time and overall disappointment in the judicial system

Enter SHADE where twice a month ( 2nd and 4th Tuesday from 11-1) an attorney meets with pro se clients to review their documentation, explain issues, prepare them for court and in general assure a higher degree of a successful outcome.

Enter law student volunteers! While the lawyer is talking with the client, someone needs to wrangle those awaiting help! Consent forms need to be explained and secured as well as an orderly process for handling clients. This is first-come, first-served. Once a student signs up at: https://signup.com/go/hUAsFTs a series of instructions and samples will be sent to the volunteer to review prior to their assigned day.  This is real, hands on and direct service that makes a huge difference.

Having fun and supporting a great cause

A new charity, The Rainy Day Fund, has a great event coming up. They are raising funds to help provide access to justice for those with financial woes. Sometimes getting access to the court is barred by a person not being able to pay a filing fee. The RDF wants to be able to step in and assist in cases with great merit.

Do you part? Great date night! and what lawyer or law student doesn’t like a scavenger hunt?